Paola Santiago and the River of Tears


Paola Santiago and the River of Tears will be available soon.
Estimated Ship Date is May 4, 2021

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Author: Tehlor Kay Mejia

Estimated Ship Date: May 4, 2021

Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents author Tehlor Kay Mejia's thrilling adventure based on the Mexican legend of La Llorona, now in paperback.

*"A new hero's fantastic and fantastical adventure--her next appearance can't come soon enough."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)


  • An own-voices ghost story fantasy based on a well-known Mexican legend by an acclaimed author
  • Modern science clashes with old-fashioned superstition
  • Interesting mother-daughter dynamics
  • Explores socioeconomic and racial struggles
  • Budding romance
  • Thrills and chills combine to make a highly entertaining read
  • Includes an introduction from Rick Riordan and a teaser chapter from Book 2
  • Optioned by 20th Television with Eva Longoria attached to produce


Space-obsessed 12-year-old Paola Santiago and her two best friends, Emma and Dante, know the rule: Stay away from the river. It’s all they’ve heard since a schoolmate of theirs drowned a year ago. Pao is embarrassed to admit that she has been told to stay away for even longer than that, because her mother is constantly warning her about La Llorona, the wailing ghost woman who wanders the banks of the Gila at night, looking for young people to drag into its murky depths.

Hating her mother’s humiliating superstitions and knowing that she and her friends would never venture into the water, Pao organizes a meet-up to test out her new telescope near the Gila, since it’s the best stargazing spot. But when Emma never arrives and Pao sees a shadowy figure in the reeds, it seems like maybe her mom was right. . . .

Pao has always relied on hard science to make sense of the world, but to find her friend she will have to enter the world of her nightmares, which includes unnatural mist, mind-bending monsters, and relentless spirits controlled by a terrifying force that defies both logic and legend.